Lord, Rend the Heavens

by Stephen Olford

Text: “O, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down!” (Is. 64:1).

Thought: When Isaiah the prophet prayed these words, God’s ancient people were in bad shape. In the previous chapter (63:15), they had asked the Lord to “look down from heaven”; but now their cry is “come down!” They had reached the point of desperation.

 If we read the signs of the times aright, we are also in a mess. Dr. Carl Henry wonders if God will bring judgment upon America in this decade (cf. Rom. 1:24). He writes, “Our massacre of a million fetuses a year; our deliberate flight from the monogamous family; our normalizing of fornication and other sexual perversions, our programming of self-indulgence above social and familial concerns—all represent a quantum leap in moral deterioration….”

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1. We Need a Divine Intervention. “Oh, that You would rend the heavens!…(and) come down!  This intervention is described as fire melting the mountains, boiling the waters, and burning the brushwood—quite plainly an extraordinary display of divine power, a supernatural Mt. St. Helen’s! When that volcano erupted, the world took notice. We must have a volcanic “spiritual happening” in the church of Jesus Christ, if modern man is to be impacted.

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 2.  We Need a Divine Revelation. “O, that You would…come down…to make your name known” (vv. 1,2). To quote Carl Henry again, “The dull technological edge of American Christianity desperately needs sharpening.” We have lost the sense of God’s presence, we have lost the sign of God’s power, and we have lost the scope of God’s purpose. We need a divine revelation as the Holy Spirit makes the Book come alive with Pentecostal authority and relevance.

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3. We Need a Divine Visitation. “Oh, that You would…come down…that the nations (would) tremble at Your presence!” (vv. 1,2). When God visited His people in Egypt, Pharoah and his subjects had to acknowledge the divine presence. When God visited His people on the day of Pentecost, unbelievers cried out, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). What would be our response if God were to visit us in our time? Can it be said of us, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of God’s power” (Ps. 110:3, kjv)?

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Thrust:                  Descend upon us gracious Lord,

                                    With Your reviving power,

                                    And search us, cleanse us by Your Word—

                                    To match this present hour.

                                                                                          S.F.O.